Spanish Graduate Students

Spanish Graduate Students

Ehab Alafifi

Ehab Alafifi earned his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature from Ain Shams University, Egypt. After his graduation, he was an intern at the United Nations Information Centre (UNICCAIRO). Professionally, he has 4 years of experience in teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language at the Ministry of Defense Language Institute (MODLI) in Cairo, Egypt. Ehab was a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (a Fulbright scholar) at Benedictine University in Chicago for the academic year 2019-2020. During his Fulbright experience, Ehab was a participant of the following conferences: 2019 Fulbright FLTA Mid-Year in Washington D.C and Conference Committee on Teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN) Conference at the UN Headquarter in New York City in February 2020. He is also a member at Library of Congress – Reading Room in Washington D.C. Personally, Ehab loves learning and teaching languages. He speaks 3 languages (Arabic, Spanish, and English) and is now learning Portuguese. Currently, he is interested in the dialectal variation between Latin America and Spain, Latin American Literature, and the history of the Spanish language. In his spare time, he loves reading about Hispanic American history in the colonial era.

Ana Belén Álvarez

Ana graduated from “Universidad Internacional de La Rioja” in Spain with a Bachelor in Criminal Justice. Afterwards, she earned her Master’s degree in Spanish Literature at The University of Alabama. She is currently in her first year of the Ph. D. in Romance Languages with a concentration in Spanish literature. She is focusing on studying the relation between social justice, victimology, criminal profiling and contemporary peninsular literature. Her area of interest also includes gender studies, cultural studies, historical memory and women writers.

Emma Bearden

Emma grew up working with people with disabilities and has a passion for connecting with others. This passion for human connection pushed her to study Spanish, to open the door to connecting with Spanish speakers in the United States and around the world. Emma studied at Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia in the summer of 2019, further sparking her interest in Latin American language, culture, and literature. Emma hopes to continue fostering meaningful relationships across ability and language barriers.

Alejandro Botia

Alejandro is a Venezuelan journalist who has worked and written for different media entities, such as El Tiempo, of Bogotá, TalCual, of Caracas, and Diario Las Américas, of Miami.  He is also the author of the book Auge y crisis del IV poder, La prensa en democracia (Rise and Crisis of the 4th Estate, The Press in Democracy). After working for more than 10 years in newsrooms and experiencing from close up the  meaningful changes that have taken place in his home country and the region as a whole, Alejandro found in literature a special arena to understand Latin American reality. He is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Alabama, in order to make connections between journalism and literature in the XXI century.

Kathleen Cauley

Katie graduated from Troy University with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish in 2020, summa cum laude. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Katie was awarded the Sigma Delta Pi Undergraduate Study Abroad Award in 2019 and the Modern Language Award in 2020.  Her academic interests include  Spanish, cultural anthropology, linguistics and study abroad. Katie is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Spanish with a concentration in linguistics at the University of Alabama.

Ivano Fulgaro

Ivano Fulgaro is a PhD student in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics at The
University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. He graduated in Italy with a Diploma Universitario in
Translation and Interpreting in Italian, Spanish, and English from the University of Chieti-Pescara, and obtained a Master of Arts in Romance Languages from the University of Oregon with Spanish and Italian as languages of specialization.

Elena Guerra

Elena graduated from University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Spanish with minor concentrations in Latin American/ Caribbean/ Latino/a Studies and Russian in 2020, summa cum laude. Elena is a member of Sigma Delta Pi and Phi Beta Kappa organizations. She is currently an MA Spanish Literature student and graduate teaching instructor of Spanish classes at the University of Alabama. She is in the process of preparing her M.A. thesis focusing on the public and private dichotomy of Cuban diaspora narratives.

Caleb Kelley

​I am Ph.D. Candidate in Romance Languages specializing in Spanish linguistics. My primary area of study includes sociophonetics—and sociolinguistics more broadly—as it relates to language, gender, and sexuality. My doctoral dissertation, currently in progress, focuses on the sociophonetic variation of LGBTQ+ speakers of Peninsular Spanish. In addition to my doctoral work, I am a coordinator for Spanish 102 sections in the Spanish Basic Language Program at UA. I also teach introductory- and intermediate-level Spanish classes to undergraduates.

Lauren L'Etang

Lauren earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in International Studies and Spanish with a minor in Music. After graduating she served as an Americorps member for one year, working for an Alabama non-profit. Now she is in her second year of the MA in Spanish Linguistics.

James Moore

First and foremost, Jim loves language. Different languages offer different views on life, and being able to speak to someone in their language opens up a whole new world for everyone. Jim is passionate about language and culture and loves video games, fantasy novels, cooking for friends, and reasonably priced coffee.

Jim is a Tuscaloosa native but moved to Oxford, MS, to earn a BA from the University of Mississippi. Jim is excited to be back in Tuscaloosa, especially for such a great program!

Elizabeth Naranjo Hayes

Please visit my website for the most recent information:

Elizabeth Naranjo Hayes moved to Tuscaloosa from Columbus, GA to pursue her PhD in Romance Languages: Spanish and French Linguistics at The University of Alabama.

Born and raised in San Diego, California, Elizabeth’s ancestors immigrated from Northern Italy and France to Mexico, and her parents immigrated from Mexico to the US.  She is a native speaker of both Spanish and English, a near-native speaker of French, and is proficient in all of the rest of the Romance Languages.

She attended high school in Les Clayes sous Bois, France during 11th grade, and absolutely connected with the language and culture of her ancestry.  She speaks in French with her middle daughter, and in Spanish with all three of her girls.  Her husband is a true Southerner who has picked up a few words of her many languages throughout the years.  See pictures of them, below ☺

She taught at San Diego State University, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Spanish Linguistics, then she joined the US Army and was Commissioned as an Active Duty Army Officer at the 3rd Battalion 11th Infantry Regiment (OCS), Fort Benning, GA.

After serving her country for a few years, she became the Director of a small k-12 accredited private school in Bonita CA (in San Diego County), until her husband joined the Army and they were stationed at Fort Benning, near his hometown of Columbus, GA.

She taught at Columbus State University the seven years they were in Georgia, where she served as the Faculty Advisor for CHispA (CSU Hispanic Association), the Goizueta Scholarship Chair and Advisor, and was the CSU Liaison for the Muscogee County Hispanic Outreach Committee.

While in Columbus, GA, she also taught at Georgia Military College’s ColumbusMilledgeville Online, and Global Online campuses, where she served on the GMC President’s Faculty Advisory Council and also as a college recruitment advisor and Hispanic outreach officer.   She still currently teaches at Georgia Military College online while at The University of Alabama.

In addition, she taught at the largest college on US Army Fort BenningCentral Texas College, serving her fellow Soldiers, Veterans, and their dependents.  Her proficiency in a wide range of dialectal varieties and registers was highly utilized as the sole interpreter for the Federal Court in the Middle District of GA for several years.

Her mission in life is to create bridges across cultures through shared language, and she believes that the world will be a better place if everyone will learn just one more language. That way people would be able to talk to someone they otherwise never would have talked to ♥.

Pursuing her PhD in Romance Languages is a lifelong dream of hers, and she is ecstatic to be able to do so at the University of Alabama!  She enjoys Latin music, Francophone music, dancing, cooking, swimming, and having fun, but most of all she loves sharing her passion for language and culture with others.

Her husband recently completed his MA at the University of Alabama and is currently a high school computer science and mathematics teacher.  They have a kitty named Chiquita Bonita “chee-KEE-tah boh-NEE-tah” (pretty little girl), and an orange kitty named Pote “POH-teh” (named after their favorite character in “Queen of the South”).

cat in a UA dress

Joshua Williams

Joshua Williams is a PhD student of Spanish Linguistics at The University of Alabama. Josh is passionate about celebrating the interaction of language and culture as his research focuses on the phonology of Spanish language contact in the US South. Outside of his research, you can find him rucking and enjoying the fresh air.

Bryan Winkler

Bryan is from York, Pennsylvania. He graduated from The University of Alabama in 2020 with a BA in Spanish and minor in Global & Cultural Perspectives. His passion for languages, teaching, and culture is mirrored by both his academic and extracurricular endeavors related to Spanish. In his free time, Bryan enjoys cooking, listening to music, and traveling.

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